The Power of Intent

The Power of Intent

If big data is the ‘new oil’, then perhaps the new ‘rocket-fuel’ for B2B brands is intent data, which is being used to drive efficiency through reaching and engaging with professionals who are “in the market.”  The B2B buying process is generally long and collaborative, and intent is an increasingly important factor in building, as well as nurturing and keeping relationships with B2B customers. 

The data that can help marketers pinpoint those key moments during the buyer’s journey can be found in customer interactions, both in their personal and professional spheres.  However professionals now consume content and information across a wide array of platforms and devices, making it very difficult to keep up with the customer journey. 

Intent data can help brands bridge this gap, by knowing how and when to reach customers through monitoring their content consumption.  This is also a key trend for B2B media owners, in fact in the Outsell Information Industry Outlook 2014: Convergence Now! , aligning content and marketing with individual users’ intent and context was featured as a key growth driver for media.  According to Outsell, a media owner’s ability to integrate analytics into every operational and planning discipline to follow users’ intent, leads to more targeted content and more relevant advertising. This, in turn, leads to higher conversions and more engaged and loyal readers, who value the information and services more highly.

Content Consumption Monitoring (CCM) is a technology from Madison Logic that aggregates and organizes behavioral intent and uses research signals to drive personalized engagement, stronger retention and greater lead to sales performance.  The basic concept of CCM is that by leveraging content consumption intelligence, marketers can be more effective at reaching the right people at the right time.

Marketers can develop highly effective campaigns that push content to B2B buyers with high resonance by aligning the content with the research activity associated with a buyer’s company, demographic segment, and/or de-identified cookie profile. Using the insights of CCM, marketers can move prospects down the funnel with greater accuracy, delivering higher quality leads to sales, while also resurrecting dormant leads that were thought to no longer be interested in the marketer’s solutions.

Madison Logic’s technology can be summarized into a three step process:

Aggregation :  Madison Logic created a contributory model whereby partners share intent data in order to enjoy all intent data across the CCM ecosystem for the partner’s   first party audience.  These contributory media partners range from small web sites to larger publishers and marketers in the B2B space like UBM.  Their Contributory Data Program is the largest in the industry and assesses over 200 million user initiated interactions each month.

Organize :  With consumption signals aggregated, the technology then consumes the disparate, unstructured datasets and collates them into useful signals for the industry.   Content including whitepapers, webinars, web articles and search activity are analyzed, and then in real-time, the system applies intent topics to this activity and uses proprietary scoring techniques to determine which segment of B2B buyers are interested in specific topics. This process involves properly linking a cookie-based profile with a company, a geographic region, an industry, job title, or other relevant business attribute.  This is an important step, as without a single source of harmonized, standardized intent data, there would be incredible challenges for the industry to consume and make use of the data.

Audience Segmentation :The utility of standardized intent data brings us to the final stage of CCM, which is making the data actionable by providing audience segmentation tools to accelerate lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead retargeting and multi-channel marketing campaigns including email and display.  

This approach is not only a valuable tool for B2B brands, but also for B2B media owners, who can leverage the insights not only to improve their own content creation and engagement with users, but also to better serve their B2B brand clients.  Erik Matlick, CEO of Madison Logic, puts it simply: “There is no better behavioral signal than listening to what content is being consumed. In our busy B2B world, business buyers need information that is relevant to their current needs and CCM provides just that insight. It allows marketers or media owners to provide relevant, timely information.”

Knowing how and when to reach out to your customer means constantly monitoring their content consumption and working with a platform that layers that rich intent data atop other demographic and behavioral data points to create highly-qualified, accurately-targeted audience segments. Once the creation of those segments becomes automatic via the right data platform, then it is easier to engage with them in a timely manner and at scale.

Another great use case for intent data is user email verification.  For example, a company can upload their email database into the Madison Logic’sEmail Segment Builder, and by using CCM technology, they can find out which email addresses have been actively downloading and consuming content on the internet. This is a quick and easy way to gauge whether or not a user is in fact using a verifiable email address.

Brands are increasingly leveraging content marketing and acting like publishers to succeed, and B2B media owners need to also be leveraging the technology and tools used by B2B brands to better plan, engage, and serve their readers and clients. 

Madison Logic Email Segment Builder:

Madison Logic - Power of Intent - Email Graphic

Case Study - Net Communities

Net Communities was looking to drive pre-event registrations for IP EXPO, a leading Enterprise IT event in the UK, produced by Imago Techmedia, using an email campaign. 

The newsletter database for was placed into Madison Logic’sEmail Segment Builder, along with content that would be promoted, which identified 10 smaller segments of users that had expressed interest in the 10 topics related to IP EXPO.  These 10 segments were targeted with email creative relevant to each topic, while a control group of users received email messaging with a generic creative.

Andy Evans, CEO of Net Communities , said, "Our strategy is to increase our engagement with our customers.  Intent data provides the insights behind the audience and will be used to power our multichannel communications to our customers."

Click-through-rate performance increased by 4.1 times, registrations increased 6.9 times, and attendance rate performance increased 2.5 times.

Case Study - UBM Tech

UBM Tech was looking to test the ability of intent data to improve CTR for an email campaign promoting a white paper download to users that have researched content related to similar topics. The campaign created was designed to re-engage dormant leads in their database with an email marketing campaign.

Click-through rate performance saw a 375 percent improvement from normal, with a 200 percent increase in whitepaper downloads.

Paul Miller, CEO, UBM Tech, said, "The ability to connect the rich data gleaned from UBM Tech's extensive interactions with more than 9.9 million tech decision makers with an expansive B2B data stream in real-time allows us to provide more scalable, targeted marketing solutions. We are overlaying Madison Logic's data across our suite of solutions to help power decisions from content recommendations to email segmenting to digital advertising."

This feature is part of a series of special reports on trends in B2B media being written by B2B Syndicate to appear in Magazine World, the global publication of FIPP - go to the FIPP site to see the full edition .